Effective plant design in shopping malls and retail environments have several strong functions to offer. Plantscaping can emphasize the character of the mall and help create an atmosphere that shoppers enjoy. The presence of greenery makes shopping centers more appealing to customers creating an enjoyable shopping experience. Plants are also known to reduce noise levels which can be important for busy retail destinations. From directing foot traffic to providing shoppers with an inviting place to relax between shopping visits, plants are an integral part of the selling environment.
A best-in-class commercial building in the heart of New York’s Flatiron District, has attracted a new tenant. The brand new entrance and renovated lobby drew a well-known firm who fit out their new space to the nines, show-casing a clean and ultra-modern feel. The interior plants and containers play a key role in the design, delivering a unique, creative and purposeful feel to the workspace. Bright red containers with simple, sculptural plants create a bold, eye-catching silhouette. Prism containers, clustered together and planted with a mixed foliage palette create a geometric and organic display. The ‘less is more’ approach, with fewer planters deliberately placed, meld seamlessly into the space, visual elements as crucial as lighting, furniture and artwork.
On the Brooklyn waterfront nestled between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges is 45 Main Street, a 475,000 square-foot office building and one of the signature properties of the neighborhood known as DUMBO. Here, developer Two Trees Management has converted the former factory building to create a mix of private and co-working spaces with incredible views a short walk to the waterfront. With the ground floor dedicated to retailers and the arts, the rooftop is a 9,500 square-foot shared space designed by Landscape Architect James Corner Field Operations and built by Blondie’s Treehouse Inc. We retrofitted the rooftop on this historic building with a mix of stone and wood surfaces. A herringbone pattern of grey and white granite creates a distinct area for blue bistro tables. In the south section of the rooftop an elevated ipe platform introduces an additional level for more casual lounging. Large planters of weathered Corten Steel feature Gleditsia, Amalenchier, Dogwood and Witchhazel as well as perennials and grasses. Custom ipe benches create privacy seating and serve as space dividers along the north and east walls. To install this project on time, Blondie’s brought in a 140-ton crane and secured permits allowing the closure of Washington Street. In a single morning, we lifted 250 cubic yards of soil and drainage stone, twenty-five 15’ trees, each with 30” root balls, 1,600 one gallon perennials as well as pavers and a variety of construction materials. Without the crane, this material would have required the freight elevators for a solid week, a difficult prospect in a busy building at full occupancy. Over a period of nearly four weeks, Blondie’s craftsmen and gardeners fabricated custom woodwork and planters and carefully planted thousands of perennials, shrubs and trees, transforming this rooftop from an empty and unutilized space into a fully realized, functional and quite gorgeous urban landscape.
Sempergreen® Vertical Systems is the creator and supplier of SemperGreenwalls, a unique vertical garden system. With a global reach and a mission to improve the quality of life through innovations in sustainable design, Sempergreen is the leading source of green living wall systems for indoor and outdoor use. Blondie’s Treehouse Inc. is a Preferred SemperGreenwall Installer. Companies with this distinction are recognized by Sempergreen for their proven installation skills and deep knowledge of the product, with an emphasis on quality, execution and client happiness. The SemperGreenwall is composed of modular Flexipanels, which arrive fully planted with lush, fully-grown plants. Flexipanels employ a generous 2” thick mineral wool based profile designed to nourish the plants by promoting and protecting robust, healthy root systems. The SemperGreenwall is truly a modular system, in that neighboring Flexipanels allow each plant’s roots to roam freely between panels, keeping plants healthier and creating a 3-dimensional vertical garden. A key innovation is the electronic sensory system that monitors the irrigation and distribution of fertilizer and nutrients. This cutting edge technology allows for remote monitoring and pinpoint accuracy, creating a highly efficient maintenance program with unmatched results.